Ben Gould provides student representation to city council

This month, students have a chance to elect the first student to Berkeley City Council in more than 30 years. That’s why we, the external affairs vice presidents of the ASUC and the Graduate Assembly, proudly endorse Ben Gould for City Council.

For residents of Berkeley’s Downtown District 4, a special mail-in only election starts this week. We recommend that every student, young person and progressive vote for Ben Gould.

Gould’s policies would make life better for students. He supports building new housing at all income levels, ensuring students can find places to live and aren’t pushed out by rent-seeking landlords. He wants to address public safety and improve street lighting throughout Berkeley and ensure UC Police Department and Berkeley Police Department can collaborate more effectively to address street crime and sexual assault. He supports transit and biking improvements, making it easier and safer to get around Berkeley without a car, and he wants to end homelessness through a regional housing-first approach.

As The Daily Californian Senior Editorial Board said, “On the environment … there’s no better candidate than UC Berkeley graduate student Ben Gould. … He has well-thought-out plans to productively address homelessness, housing and police action in Berkeley.”

And ASUC President Will Morrow has said, “Ben’s commitment to keeping Berkeley at the global forefront of leadership on sustainability and environmentalism is exciting, and he would serve the students of UC Berkeley excellently in Berkeley City Hall.”

Our State Senator Nancy Skinner — the first and only student ever elected to City Council — also agrees, which is why she’s endorsed Ben Gould. He’s also been endorsed by four current and former Berkeley City Council members, nearly two dozen city commissioners, the Berkeley Democratic Club, campus professors Dan Kammen, Steve Weissman, Michael Eisen and Karen Chapple, community leaders like the former president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers and the managing director of the Berkeley Rep Theater and many others.

Ben Gould — a Berkeley native and a UC Berkeley graduate student — is running to fill the City Council seat vacated by now-Mayor Jesse Arreguin. He has earned the endorsement of all endorsing ASUC and GA executives because he understands student issues and listens to student voices. We have worked with Gould, and found him to be dedicated, attentive, well-informed and proactive. He’s the type of leader students deserve to have representing them on City Council.

On the Graduate Assembly, he proved an effective advocate for students, holding the university accountable and ensuring LGBTQ+ students were covered fully and fairly by our new Student Health Insurance Plan this year. As chair of the Green Initiative Fund, he helps to oversee $250,000 in student fees and ensures that money is spent effectively in addressing our campus’s environmental challenges. And on the chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, he’s been helping student groups partner with community nonprofits to improve the lives of everyone in Berkeley.

As student government leaders, we’re proud to be supporting Gould, and we urge you to vote Ben Gould for City Council when you mail in your ballot before March 7.

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Andre Luu is the external affairs vice president of the Associated Students of University of California. Jonathan Morris is the external affairs vice president of the Graduate Assembly. All titles are for identification purposes only and do not express the opinion of the ASUC or Graduate Assembly. The ASUC and Graduate Assembly do not support or oppose candidates for public office. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter